Keep sniffing to find a better story; though innocuous, this one is unlikely to be a favorite.

READ REVIEW

MOMMY'S FAVORITE SMELL

WHAT SMELLS BETTER THAN FRESH-CUT GRASS OR JUST-BAKED COOKIES?

Brock Eastman teams up with his 7-year-old daughter in the family-oriented follow-up to Daddy’s Favorite Sound (2019).

In this tale that’s loosely inspired by a passage from 2 Corinthians about the “pleasing aroma of Christ,” Little Lion catches a whiff of delicious cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. This sends the anthropomorphic cub, who wears overalls and a T-shirt, on a quest to discover her mother’s favorite smell. Depicted in Miles’ illustrations as variously colored inky emanations, some smells encountered along the way are pleasant, such as the smells of rain, campfire, and fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies. Others are not and are clearly presented in an attempt to be humorous, as not even a lion is likely to claim dirty diaper, hot compost, or generally odorless tulips among their favorite scents. After encouraging Little Lion to “keep sniffing” throughout the day, Mommy Lion finally gives in while snuggling together with her cub before bed: Her favorite smell is the smell of her children. This lion family inhabits a comfortably appointed home and wears Western clothing (but no shoes). The text is on the long side for a preschool audience, and the repetition of Little Lion’s question and Mommy’s answers, rendered as a rhyming couplet, grows tedious. The scriptural connection is a stretch, a closing prayer a bit trite, and suggested discussion questions tepid, though the recipe for chocolate-chip cookies might tempt some readers.

Keep sniffing to find a better story; though innocuous, this one is unlikely to be a favorite. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7369-7476-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harvest House

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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